Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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`frequently hilarious, with incredibly bleak undertones'
`frequently hilarious, with incredibly bleak undertones'
Top Customer Reviews
Reading this book I was reminded of something Eric Idle said about the last Python film, The Meaning of Life. He said that in retrospect he felt it had been one draft away from a masterpiece, specifically he regretted that they had left it as a series of short films bundled together and hadn't linked the strands in a stronger way. That's also the problem I had with this book, in which Hyde takes on celebrities one topic-chapter at a time without managing to hang it all together as a satisfying whole.
It starts out with a chapter on 'Celebrities and the War on Terror' that feels like it was hurriedly tacked-on (perhaps at the publisher's request?), as it reads like a brief collection of her Guardian columns. It is however very funny and luckily after that the chapters are more pleasingly essay-like - but sadly the hilarity is sacrificed.
Don't get me wrong, it's fairly amusing and interesting and Hyde is a good writer but I was expecting much more from this book. It felt too diffuse, didn't come to any conclusions.Read more ›
She is not "anti-celebrity" as such but has over time become enraged by celebrities stepping out from their own sphere into arenas that they really don't know much about. It is the celebs who take on the role of spokesperson for the developing world, weird religions or peace initiatives that are recipients of her wrath. And many of the examples quoted are cringingly terrible. Madonna (sponsored by Gucci) taking over the UN gardens to draw attention to her Malawan charity is in receipt of Marina's opprobrium. And Sharon Stone gets numerous special mentions as she manages to promote both her forthcoming films and peace in the Middle East at the same event! When Angelina Jolie gave Namibia the privilege of being the country in which she gave birth she was actually granted a no-fly zone over the resort she was staying in and was also able to vet the entry visas for visiting journalists!
Over and over again she gives examples of how people willingly indulge celebrities - UN officials, politicians, charity organisers, government officials, TV presenters etc etc. Have we, the public, actually reached the stage of only being able to understand poverty/disease/war/ if it is pointed out to us by someone who is actually an actor, singer or model?
But apart from the neediness of the so-called celebs Marina Hyde also points out that the culture is driven by the tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines. Much of what they print is vicious and cruel - and if no-one bought them a whole industry would die.
Anyone who reads her Guardian columns will not be surprised by the high standard of her writing. She expounds her arguments well and is well armed with facts and figures. This book will make you laugh out loud as well as seethe with anger!
her pen replacements, but her column in G2 is perfect. And this book just
proves how much of an über goddess she actually is. She is a true genius
with a tone of voice that is witty and unique. It is such a shame that this
book is so good, as it will no doubt make her a celebrity. Yuk!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marina Hyde's celebrity tells us Ina hundred or so pieces that look like journalistic opinion pieces through the world of celebrity self endorsement. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2014 by barbicandy
The best of The Guardian's best writers. Some of this is serious stuff - or should be - but it's a collection of short comic stories and it's funny, enlightening and frightening. Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2013 by Mr Geoffrey V Riley
The whole premise that celebrities (read humans) cannot try to make a difference to society because they're entertainers is asinine and the stories used to illustrate the point are... Read morePublished on 20 May 2013 by Mr. S. Walrond
This is a very funny and occasionally disturbing look into how the celebrity culture has invaded parts of our lives better left alone. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2010 by J. G. Speck
Celebrity is an extremely well written book about a certain form of status. The author outlines a series of gruesome incidents where celbrities are given key signifiers of a wider... Read morePublished on 25 May 2010 by Chris Purnell
Marina Hyde is probably the best writer in any British newspaper at the moment. No one can combine pop culture references with works of classical literature in the way she manages... Read morePublished on 29 April 2010 by Dave S Sparrow
Ok not every chapter makes you roll on the floor with laughter, but there are enough that do to make it worth reading.Published on 22 Jan. 2010 by DM
Brilliant! If your friday morning is the highlight of your week reading the Lost in Showbiz column in The Guardian you'll love this.Published on 26 Sept. 2009 by Zola Cat
If your mouth has ever dropped open in amazement at the latest 'celebrity' scandal / rumour, then this is the book for you. It's bitchy, funny and very intelligent. Read morePublished on 28 Aug. 2009 by Nick Sydenham